By Lou Mastria
Big Idea: Lawmakers care deeply about consumer privacy -- but they welcome industry self-regulation on privacy issues when they see it to be effective.
Recently, representatives of the ad industry have seen not just increased recognition, but an embrace of the Digital Advertising Alliance and its program among officials, especially as debates about privacy are reviving in Washington and elsewhere. Acceptance of support for advertising self-regulation in the United States appears to be growing.
Take one example from a policymaker address at our most recent DAA Summit 17 (June 13-14, 2017) in Lansdowne, VA.
U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) provided an enthusiastic recorded statement there, underscoring the greater interest that lawmakers are taking in the potential of the digital realm, financed by advertising, and in responsible industry players participating in self-regulation programs such as that of DAA.
The Senator, first elected to Congress in 2013, commended the development of privacy principles embodied in the DAA program “that are becoming critical and that more consumers are becoming aware of.” Such recognition of the importance of self-regulation demonstrates growing appreciation among lawmakers for what goes on in the in the digital ad space, but also the realization of diligent education efforts on the part of industry representatives and associations. (DAA conducted its first informational Hill Day on June 15, immediately after the Summit, with more than two dozen industry participants.)
“All of us love [...] the doors that are opening because of the digital world that we live in,” Sen. Booker said. “It’s important that we cultivate this environment.” Booker has become a distinct leader in the Senate’s work relating to the digital economy.
Photo: US Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) addressing DAA Summit 2017 via video
Sen. Booker went on to praise the DAA for working to advance transparency for consumers and “agreed-upon rules of the road,” as well as all members of the digital advertising ecosystem for their critical willingness to cooperate and convene at such events: “What you're doing, what you’re discussing, and what you’re working on is essential as we move forward as a country. And it’s exciting to me, because when we have quality standards, when we have consumer control, transparency and a focus on privacy and data security, we create an environment for so much to flourish and so many to thrive.” Amen.
Thank you to Charlie Tomb for his editorial support toward our Summit Snapshot 2017 blog series.